More scenes from my tour of Texas

How are you doing today? I’m doing fine, though I am suffering from severe Texas withdrawal. That’s what happens when you spend almost two weeks back home and are spoiled by the bounty of good food available in the Lone Star State.

While I do have a few new recipes to share with y’all in the next few weeks, first I thought I’d show you some pictures from my trip, as a few of you kept asking the question, “What do you like to eat when you return home?”

For starters, when I pulled into Austin I was craving barbecue but it was a hot day and after three hours on the road I didn’t want to stand in a line outside. Instead, I opted for the air-conditioned comfort of Stiles Switch, where I had a light lunch of brisket, sausage, and ribs.

The next day, I found myself in San Antonio, where the first order of business was some puffy tacos from Ray’s Drive In.

The next morning before leaving town, I had a bean and cheese taco and a cactus taco from El Milagrito.

That day was spent mostly on the road, as I had to drive to Alpine, so I didn’t eat much but the views were spectacular.

That evening, I decided to see the Alpine Cowboys play the Roswell Invaders. Nothing compares to a minor-league baseball game on a pleasant summer evening.

While the Cowboys ended up losing, I came up a winner as they were serving Frito pies at the ballpark that night.

The next morning, I drove to Marfa for an excellent chorizo and bean burrito with a fiery green chile salsa. Everything was made from scratch and the people were so warm and welcoming you felt as if you were in a dear friend’s home.

I had two days to get back to Houston from Alpine, so I decided to spend the night in Laredo on the way. If I told you how many meals I ate in my short time there, you’d be shocked, but the food was so good and I wanted to try everything. While it’s hard to choose favorites, this steak Tampiqueña platter from La Carretera was near the top of my list.

Along the way, I stopped into a couple of grocery stores. At a natural-foods store, I was amused to see Velveeta on the shelf, but not all that surprised with it being Texas and all. Then on a visit to HEB, I spotted many delicious things but these Shiner Bock borracho beans may have been the most exciting new-to-me item on the shelf.

While I could have spent more time grocery shopping, I had to get to Houston so back on the road I went. When I finally arrived, I took a trip down memory lane, enjoying the Mexico City dinner at Molina’s, which is comprised of a queso puff, a beef taco, a chalupa, cheese enchiladas, a tamale, guacamole, rice, and beans. For starters, I had their Jose queso dip. I was hungry, so I ate the whole thing.

My final meal in Texas was had at Soto’s Cantina, my mom’s local spot that also happens to serve some of the best Tex-Mex in the Houston area. There I enjoyed my favorite combination, which is a taco al carbon, a chicken enchilada verde, a tamale, rice, and beans.

Of course, besides the food, I had a delightful time going to bookstores and meeting some of you at my signings. It was also fun seeing my book in other shops such as Buc-Eees, with their famed Beaver Nuggets just a small stroll away.

A big thanks to all who helped make my trip to Texas so memorable. You made me feel at home and I look forward to returning again in the fall!

  1. I'm leaving South Carolina for Texas on Saturday! I can't wait. I've been reading your blog since before I left Texas, but it means so much now when I'm missing home. Glad you enjoyed your visit!

  2. Anonymous

    Glad you found "a few" good eats in Texas. Please post some scenes IF you took any pictures. [a joke, your camera is always ready!]
    Grandma Jean

  3. The Science Goddess

    What a great road trip!

    My mother attended your book signing in Alpine, and my copy arrived today. I can't wait to try some new recipes and have a test of home here in Olympia.

  4. Barbara

    I can't wait to get to my son's wedding in Ganado in November, and hope I can find food that is as good as all this looks!

  5. Glad you had a good trip and come back soon!

  6. Shelley

    I have withdrawal today, too. The sky will do it.

    That "light lunch" made me smile.

  7. Dear Lisa – thanks for sharing these images. They make me a Homesick Texan, too.
    H.T. in Jersey
    p.s. I do so love Molina's!

  8. Anonymous

    Headed to Village Mills just north of Beaumont(my birth place)next week to see my mom, then Sunday to Humble to see my dad. I'm dying to hit a couple of taco stands and get my hands wrapped around a warm sausage, jalapeno, and cheese kolache.

  9. Hi, Lisa. I picked up some of the Borracho Beans with Shiner at HEB last week…they're not very good. They tasted tinny, like bad canned soup. Oh, well! Guess I'll just have to get my borracho bean fix at Pappasito's, or Guadalajara, or El Fenix, or Molina's, or Lupe Tortilla, or Chuy's, or…(sorry to tease you! It's good to be in Texas!)

  10. Lisa Fain

    Anne–Have a great visit home!

  11. Lisa Fain

    Grandma–It's the family tradition to always have a camera ready!

  12. Lisa Fain

    The Science Goddess–Your mother was lovely! I'm so glad she made it to the signing.

  13. Lisa Fain

    Barbara–It's hard to go wrong with eating when you're in Texas.

  14. Lisa Fain

    Rooth–Thank you! I hope to return soon.

    Shelley–That sky gets me every time, too!

  15. Lisa Fain

    Robert–Molina's is such a Houston institution. I love how it's stayed so good all these years.

    Anon–Enjoy your first kolache!

  16. Lisa Fain

    Liz–Thank you for letting us know that the beans are not very good. Homemade beans may take longer but they're better than canned any day! I reckon I'll just have to make these myself.

  17. Noneofyour...

    Holy Cow! They would be placing me in the earth if I ate that much! It looks good though! I'm a misplaced Texan living in Western PA for the past 15 years. We get back to Austin at least once a year to visit family and eat at my favorite hole in the wall joints. Glad you have a great time!

  18. Linda Astala

    I'm sorry I had to miss your books signings because I was out of town. It seems they were a success! I must warn you, though, that if you continue to eat at this rate, you'll soon weigh as much as I do (not a good thing…)

  19. Thanks for sharing your trip! Mouth watering photos!

  20. Great photos! It was good to meet you and get a book signed.

  21. elizabeth

    So lovely to meet you! I'm glad you enjoyed your trip and I am looking forward to seeing you again in September! 🙂

  22. John Crawford

    You went from Alpine to Laredo on your WAY to Houston? LOL. Damn girl, it's a good thing you're a cookbook author and not a navigator.

    Your trip and the description and photos of the food made me hungry. I'm glad you had a good time. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Stephanie

    Wish I'd have known you would be in Laredo! I was so bummed that I couldn't make it to any of the bigger cities for your book signings!

  24. Melinda

    I like the Shiner Bock borracho beans!

  25. The book signing in Alpine was really enjoyable! I was so glad you had a signing only 3 hours away from our home in New Mexico. Alpine/Fort Davis/Marfa always makes for a great weekend. My husband still teases me about all the post-it bookmarks that you noticed. =) …And the girls in our church youth group asked me for a kolache-baking day, so I guess I have some new kolache converts – ha ha! It'll be fun. Thanks again for your hard work on these recipes and your blog!

  26. mustangsherry

    I like the Boracho Beans with Shiner also. They were giving samples at my HEB and they had put sausage in them, so I add sausage to mine also. It works in a pinch if you can't get to Pappasitto's.

  27. I love Ray's puffy tacos. I also love Adelante in Alamo Heights

  28. Lisa Fain

    Noneofyour–I definitely gained a few pounds while I was home!

    Linda–I'm so sorry I missed you, too!

    Kathie–You're welcome!

  29. Lisa Fain

    Joe–Thank you!

    Elizabeth–Look forward to seeing you again at the conference!

    John–I like to take the scenic route!

  30. Lisa Fain

    Stephanie–Laredo was completely unplanned and I didn't have any events there so you didn't miss anything. Though I hope to return in the next year–such good food there!

    Melinda–Good to know!

  31. Lisa Fain

    Alison–Your books made my day! Thank you for making the drive to Alpine. It was great meeting you and your husband.

  32. Lisa Fain

    Mustanghenry–What a great idea! I bet they're terrific with sausage.

    Marla–Never been to Adelante and making a note to visit on my next trip. Thank you for the recommendation!

  33. Jean Walker

    I have followed your blog now for about 4 years, and referred many friends and family to it, also. I often gift your cookbooks out and still need them for myself! 🙂 This post makes me so homesick and hungry for some great TexMex! I am a true homegrown Texan…born in Houston, raised in San Antonio and then spent 10 years in Dallas and Forth Worth area before moving from Texas. I have to say the thing I miss most about Texas is the incredible food. I have spent the last 5 years in both Japan and Italy. While I have enjoyed tasting food from other cultures, I still regularly crave food from home. I check your blog nearly every week in hope of a new post, and recipe I can make for dinner. I love reading your posts, they make me feel home. Not only has your blog kept me connected with my Texan food, and kept me satiated while abroad, but I have fallen in love with cooking too. Thank you for all of your effort in bringing these stories and delicious recipes to your audience. You have made this Texan away from home so happy. 🙂

  34. Julie from Dallas

    I tried your Regular Hot Sauce recipe from the new cookbook this weekend. Delicious!!! I have both of your books and have enjoyed lots of the recipes! I am Dallas born and raised and still live here…. your recipes are right on target! Please keep it up!!

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